Does the type of attribute matter? Examining whether underlying factors explain product attribute preference
Most research into product attribute preferences suggests that innovation through enhanced attributes is superior to innovation through unique attributes, yet the marketplace success of new products with unique attributes challenges these assessments. To determine whether the type of attribute matters, this study examines how two underlying factors explain product attribute preference. First, a schema congruity theoretical framework proposes that perceived differences and confidence both mediate attribute type effects. Second, the authors test whether product attribute preferences result from the specific forms of enhanced or unique attributes. Consumer evaluations of 13 line extensions demonstrate that perceived differences and confidence strongly mediate the effects of the type of attribute on product preferences. The effects of the specific attribute form on preferences are comparable to those of enhanced and unique attributes. This effect similarly is mediated by perceived difference and confidence. This study thus provides several contributions for schema congruity theory, including a demonstration of two inverted U-shaped relationships involving perceived difference. For managers, uncovering the influence of consumers’ perceptions of differences and confidence can help them market new products that feature either type or various forms of attributes.
KeywordsProduct attributes Partial least squares Unique attribute Enhanced attribute
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
- Chan, K.W., and M. Renee. 2011. Blue ocean strategy. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
- Chin, W.W. 2010. How to write up and report PLS analyses. In Handbook of partial least squares: Concepts, methods and applications, ed. V.E. Vinzi, W.W. Chin, J. Hensler, and H. Wold. Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar
- Lee, M., J. Lee, and W.A. Kamakura. 1996. Consumer evaluations of line extensions: A conjoint approach. Advances in Consumer Research 23(1): 289–295.Google Scholar
- Mandler, G. 1982. The structute of value: Accounting for taste. In Affect and cognition: The 17th annual carnegie symposium. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Product of the Year. 2016. http://productoftheyear.Co.Uk/winners/winning-products/winning-products-2016/, http://productoftheyear.com.au/. Accessed 2nd of Feb 2016.
- Ringle, C.M., S. Wende, and J.-M. Becker. 2015. Smartpls 3. Boenningstedt: SmartPLS GmbH, http://www.smartpls.com.
- Unilever. 2016. www.Unilever.Co.Uk/brands-in-action/detail/comfort, www.Unilever.Co.Uk/brands-in-action/detail/comfort. Accessed 25th of Jan 2016.